A short film version of Lovecraft's "Cool Air" provides schlocky fun--and the acting is far better than you'd expect.
"Cool Air." Dir. Amy Dee. Old Line Cinema. Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 2010.
There's a film version of H.P. Lovecraft's "Cool Air" that deserves more eyes. I stumbled upon it browsing through short films on YouTube. It's a no-budget amateur film, but cheap schlock is half the fun of horror. I wondered how a film could be made of this story, for Lovecraft excels at having an unstable narrator create a creepy atmosphere. How can a director of a cheapo short film create such an atmosphere?
As it turns out it's not so hard. The main character and narrator, played by Dana Murphy, delivers Lovecraft's prose as his lines. I couldn't imagine how it could be done, but he found a way that was obvious once I saw it. He delivered them in that dazed and hypnotic voice that Allen Ginsburg used to recite his poetry. With the atmosphere created, we have a Lovecraft story. Well done.
The other principal player, Nick Bastean, redefined the character of Dr Munoz for me. Bastean nailed the character with stiff quirky gestures. Lovecraft doesn't give much thought to how characters walk and move, but that's exactly the aspect of a character an actor has to work out.
The film was an entry into a community access sponsored contest in which crews made a movie in 48 hours. The contest took place October 2010. I'm looking forward to seeing some films from this year's contest.
The text of Lovecraft's story "Cool Air" is in the public domain. It's available through Wikipedia on Wikisource. The link is on the bottom of the page of the Wikipedia article "Cool Air."
The film was uploaded to YouTube in two parts:
And don't miss Part Two. It's even better:
This article originally appeared in a slightly different form on Triond's Cinemaroll web site: